Thursday, November 1, 2012

The VoNBBS Evening Dress (Yes, it happened like this.)


Ah yes, Vogue's New Book for Better Sewing. The whole reason my blog exists. I have finally completed the evening dress!



I feel like I should possibly be more reverent about the whole thing.

Eh, screw it.
 




The honest truth is that this was a bit of a practice run. The body of the dress is poly shantung, and the overlays are poly organza (one is flocked with spiderwebs!), all from Joann Fabrics. The rhinestones are all me--I glued them on, one by one. 

The design is much as I anticipated--except the collars! The under collar is SO big.

I have fancier fabric to make this, in a tea-length version. I definitely don't want the huge under collar action for that one, so I will adjust the pattern accordingly. It works for my witchy woman look, though! Almost like a cape.

Oh hey, have you met my boyfriend?


 He's a doll. (Ha!) He's helping me show off my new hat, which I also made.
I'm kind of astounded by how much I've learned in the millinery program at FIT. I mean, I knew nothing about hats. And now, I can make them. From scratch.
The hat is a buckram base, wired at the edges, and covered with fashion fabric. It's embellished with a bias fabric bow, french netting, and rhinestones. I made the pattern myself. It sits on the head with the help of an elastic.



Here is Jeff. He's a zombie lumberjack.


A pensive zombie lumberjack.



A cheerful zombie lumberjack!

We really, really hope you all had a safe and happy Halloween. We're lucky to be high and dry here in the Hudson Valley!

74 comments:

  1. Three cheers for poly organza! Love the dress, and Jeff looks fabulous too!

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  2. Your witch dress is fabulous (and I do hope it will get more than one Halloween's worth of wear), but let's talk about that hat! You seriously make me want to take up millinery, what with all the wonderful projects you've shown us. Unfortunately, I doubt there are any such classes around where I live. Maybe by correspondence...?

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  3. Love it! Makes me wish Halloween was more of an institution here too. In my bit of London nobody celebrates it, to the point where I buy sweeties and nobody even rings the doorbell. We end up eating them every year!

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  4. It looks Sooo good!! Joann fabrics can be pleasantly surprising in the right hands. Of course, I don't think anyone is surprised that this dress looks so amazing. Well done :)

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  5. I love it soooo much! I like the larger cape-like collar, but you may be right that on a non-costume dress it may be too much. Oh, as for Jeff's costume, my hubby has a beard like his and the crazy lumberjack thing seems to always be the fallback option for him. I tried to get him to be a nerd one year, and he told me that he'd just look like a hipster (we do live in Austin after all).

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  6. Love love love love love.

    And I'm envious of your millinery skills.

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  7. I actually kindof like the collars... You look awesome! And there is nothing wrong with Joann's poly fabric - I used it for formal dresses when I was a poor college student!

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  8. Cheerful zombies are like clowns: scary! ;) Beautiful witch you made! Stunning hat...maybe you could come up with a PDF pattern for sale by next July? You know, for those of us who would like our true witchy selves to shine on All Hallows.

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  9. love the HAT! DRESS! LUMBERJACK! (especially the pensive lumberjack, so thoughtful...)
    what about the pup?
    now i want a millinery class.
    thanks for the update, we were all worried about you and Sandy.

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  10. That dress is FABulous! You are the most elegant witch I've seen in years. I like the collars, actually, but I can see it working without the under-collar as well.

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  11. Love it! I used your drindl skirt tutorial to make my Halloween skirt...and I also used a super cheap taffeta in bright orange with an organza overlay with spiderwebs (all from JoAnn's!). My spiderwebs had orange sequins interspersed among the webs. I also used the fabrics on my Target witch hat. My middle school students loved it. I adore the purple!

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  12. I love your humour and your outfit! I live in the UK so I'm not sure what FIT is?

    Nice to see Jeff in costume too. Did you by any chance get a pic of you Jeff and Rosie together? Oh and did your pussycat get his own outfit or did he manage to keep a low profile over Halloween?

    Yours admiringly,

    Linda x

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    1. FIT is the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC which besides being a full college offers various summer and weekend crafting classes.

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  13. Grr I am having trouble getting my comments through so here is a quick repeat: i am a high school sophomore from Brooklyn and I started sewing in July (meaning creating things other than mending holes and resewing buttons). In September I completed my first garment, a simple elastic waist skirt, using the basic Brother homesewing machine I bought soon after I started sewing in July (I am on a budget!). I haven't looked back since. I completed my first pattern skirt, a button down 1990s Simplicity, early last month. I am stuck on the facings attachment of a cape style shirt I am doing now, but due to the hurricane my grandma was unable to come help me. I devour every piece of sewing knowledge and every trick I can, so naturally I love your blog, which I just found a week ago. I love your style and I admire your ability to transform retro styles into modern day masterpieces.

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    1. A young person sewing....you know that warms the heart of so many of us. Keep it up!!!

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    2. Thanks for the encouragement! I am currently sewing a shirred waist pocket skirt. I got some special fabric from Joanne's which I wasted in a giant gaffe (no Joanns near me, so I cannot even buy more, nearest one is in CT) so for the back of the skirt I am using lace fabric on a beige overlay. I was told by someone that it looked like a tablecloth! I disagree and I am not finished yet but any tips?

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    3. Me specifically? Please email :0)

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  14. Wow that whole outfit is amazing.... and now I want to learn how to make hats - with netting and pretty things stuck to them...!

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  15. this is by far the best witch costume i've ever seen!! the dress is stunning and the hat is to die for. zombie lumberjack is pretty awesome too!

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  16. Gertie, you look amazing! Love the sparkly spiderwebs & your little witch hat fascinator :)

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  17. I love the dress and hat! You make a very glamorous witch. That last shot of you is very pretty. You look like an old Hollywood movie star.

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  18. Love this Gertie!A very clever way to make a mock up! I also like the larger collar, like some of your other readers.

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  19. Raven hair and ruby lips, sparks fly from her finger tips...woo hoo witchy woman. :-D

    The costume is amazing! And, the HAT! Incredible!

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  20. You look amazing, Gertie! Perhaps you would consider doing an intro millinery course on Craftsy? I loved your bombshell dress course! Oh please, oh please? There are no millinery courses where I live either....

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  21. Love, love , love the costume!

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  22. I like your version better than the photo on the pattern envelope.

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  23. Oh! They are fabulous, both the dress and the hat. Great theme, G!

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  24. Can I warmly request a how to for your witch hat fascinator? Because I adore it!

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  25. I love your dress, and your hat is fantastic!!

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  26. Love the way you look without glasses or bangs! Very elegant.

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  27. Looks fab! As always! But isn't there a tea length version in the making somewhere? I might have missed the reference, I'm hurriedly reading on my lunch.

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  28. Your witchy dress is great! You're right the big undercollar works perfect for the whole look. Also really like the zombie lumberjack!

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  29. Sooo impressed, what a meeting of costume project and pattern! Even that outlandish collar looks amazing. perky hat too!

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  30. LOVE IT! God I wish Halloween was done better here in Australia. The night went by as per normal and it wasn't until the next morning that I realised i'd missed it completely!

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  31. Ahahahah u guys look fricken awesome in your costumes! Happy Halloween Gertie x

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  32. "Cute" doesn't seem like the right word for such a glamourous dress and hat, but I this costume is both cute and glamourous! BTW, you have partially inspired me to join Weight Watchers. Thanks!

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  33. I love that your Halloween costume us basically a couture gown and hand crafted millinery. I hope you had somewhere fantastic to wear it!

    I can't wait to see the next version of this dress! I sometimes go back and read your old posts to find inspiration and I remember at the beginning you didn't like tea-length. What changed your mind about this length? I find that I really prefer the tea-length look then there's a substantial crinoline underneath, which is just not practical for me.

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  34. I've been waiting for you to make this dress forever! It's adorable. Can't wait to see the final 'real' version. x

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  35. That is... FABULOUS!!!! I love the dress, and the hat totally makes the look. I'm so glad you are safe and survived Sandy.

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  36. Amazing job! Best witch dress ever. Can't say I love this design from VNBBS, but that collar is a fab way to balance and minimise the waist. 50s designs, they really had it goin' on in that department.
    Can't wait to see your 'serious' version too.

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  37. Wow!! Spectacular! Your hat knocked it out of the park! I would take a paper folding class if you taught it! Seriously;}

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  38. This is truely beautiful. Even the big collar. Love the colour and I can see how wondeful this will be for a formal occassion.

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  39. That's all so fabulous! Looks like an amazing Halloween! (guaranteed fashion wise!)

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  40. This is easily the most fabulous costume I've seen this Halloween! The hat totally makes it. People complain about Jo-Anns (me included!) but they really do have great Halloween fabrics.

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  41. That dress is just gorgeous! Amazing! I look forward to your "real" dress and....I sort of love the big collar.

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  42. Awesome dress! I love the big collar, too... Although I think it's trying to be sleeves. I'm really amazed with the hat. I wish there was a millinery course I could take here!

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  43. Stunning! I really don't know what to say... it's AMAZING! It will be very interesting to see the second version of this dress.

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  44. Wow, you are one stunning witch! The dress is just amazing. I've seen that spiderweb fabric at Joann's and always wanted to do something cool with it. Love what you did.

    And that hat.... I'm speechless. It all works together just perfectly.

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  45. Your dress looks great, even if it's a test dress! I love the rhinestones.

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  46. Numero Uno BEST witch costume EVER. And I actually LIKE that huge cape-y collar on the dress; it looks just like the illustration! It was a good idea to make the larger part in a sheer though; it takes down some of its "overwhelmingness". I don't think it would look good at all on someone who was shortwaisted, but but you are longwaisted enough to pull it off. This style would also look good with a corset; the wide shoulder piece would certainly play up a small waist!

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  47. Your costume is so awesome, and so is your hat! It's always nice to have a good reason to utilize your millinery skills, right? :)

    Also, love Jeff and his pensive zombiness. Happy Belated Halloween to you!

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  48. Amazing dress. So much dedication for a fancy dress! I am in awe... as always!

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  49. Oh I looove this dress. It makes me think of Silver Screen movies, when everyone would "dress for dinner" and the ladies always wore such lovely frocks. What a lifestyle! Mine is, er..., quite different. You must make this dress over and over in various colors and fabrics, and share, so that we can all live vicariously through your efforts! (Not that we don't already!)

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  50. So glad to see you guys safe and sound, and getting in the Halloween Costume spirit. The dress is awesome!! I love the purple instead of black! I bet all the little girls in the neighborhood want to be witches now.

    Lame Halloween down river, but all we faired fine (whole week of school off; I think I Pinned about 5K). I had planned on whipping up a Punk Princess costume for myself - got Hot Pink Leopard Tights and Tulle, even bought Manic Panic Cotton Candy hair dye (but haven't had the guts to use it, 'cause I'm supposed to be a "role model"). Oh, well, maybe I'll just have to invent another dress up day.

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  51. Oh and that hat!! It gets more elegant every time I look at it!

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  52. You look amazing!!!Love your witch dress!

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  53. Great costumes. You are the best witch ever. I love that color.

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  54. Hi - I have a personal fondness for Vogue NBBS, and any other sewing books of that era. I purchased my own copy a couple of years ago at a used book sale, and haven't been able to put it down! It's great; my favs are #s5/6/7 (coordinates), 10, 12 & 14. Thanks for giving those of us who love all things vintage an outlet!

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  55. This is a great costume! I'm wondering if you finished the black lace version, I can't seem to find it and just now, I would love to know how you constructed the collar in Swiss organdy. I'm working on a little girls dress in Swiss organdy and trying to find out more about working with this fabric.

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Thanks for your comments; I read each and every one! xo Gertie

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